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Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff is considering replacing her finance minister Guido Mantega, with the head of the central bank, Alexandre Tombini, reports Valor Econômico, the business newspaper.

Mantega has been criticised for presiding over a period of low economic growth, leading to pressure on Rousseff, who will contest elections for a second term in October, to replace him and other members of her economic team. Continue reading »

Ashraful, 30, was a line quality supervisor in the New Wave Style factory on the seventh floor of Rana Plaza. He can’t remember April 24 2013 but in the weeks following manufacturing’s worst ever disaster, he spent weeks chained to a hospital bed. Like many who were trapped in the destroyed building Ashraful was deeply traumatised and can no longer smell, taste or work.

It was only after this disaster and his subsequent unemployment that his wife, Lucky, 25, began also working in the garments trade, for a company called Standard Garments. Like millions of Bangladeshi women, this was the only avenue open for her to support her family. But following the disaster has come a mounting concern that while Bangladesh is still the go-to location for low-end garments manufacturing, other emerging markets may soon develop the capacity to compete. Continue reading »

Carlos Slim’s foray into Europe is not so much a case of “once bitten, twice shy” as “try, try and try again”. Having failed last year to buy Dutch telecoms operator KPN, the Mexican tycoon has launched a takeover bid for Telekom Austria. Total cost to Slim’s América Móvil? Not including its current 27 per cent stake, about €2.1bn.

That includes the €1.4bn cost of buying the 45 per cent of Telekom Austria that is publicly traded. In addition, there will be América Móvil’s pro-rated €700m share of a subsequent capital increase, which will help shrink Telekom Austria’s chunky leverage (the group has almost €5bn of debt). Continue reading »

The markets were closed in Mumbai on Thursday as the city went out to vote.

To mark the election in India’s commercial capital we take a look at Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums – where the community isn’t saying quite what you might expect. Continue reading »

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** FT News **

* China becomes the iPhone growth story | China Mobile’s extra distribution on the mainland combined with enduring appeal of older phones in emerging markets puts a shine on Apple

* Fed on course for further $10bn taper | Expected slowdown in asset purchases next week is being driven by a resilient economy that has shaken off its winter torpor Continue reading »

By David O’Byrne of bne in Istanbul

Turkish football is no stranger to empty stadia, with the football authorities regularly ordering matches to be played behind closed doors as punishment for the misbehaviour of fans and players alike. But the April 20 derby match between fierce Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce and Besiktas was different. Continue reading »

By Surjit Bhalla

I’m a natural optimist, but there are still plenty of good reasons to be positive about India’s growth, even if May’s election does not go the way polls suggest. Perhaps the best way to appreciate this is just to assume that this is not one of the most important polls in India’s democratic lifetime. What would you expect to happen? For starters: the normal improvements of the business cycle. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Disappearances on rise in east Ukraine | A city councillor’s death adds to a growing file of vigilante ‘arrests’ and disappearances blamed on armed separatists as law and order erode

* Obama says islands covered by Japan pact | The US president’s comments were designed to reassure anxious regional allies as he began an Asian trip, but they drew an angry response from China Continue reading »

By Rajeev Mantri, Navam Capital

Energy and clean technology investing has proven to be disastrous for venture capitalists. Capital allocated to clean tech fell to less than half in 2013 from the $3.7 billion invested in 2012, and new clean tech-focused funds were able to raise less than $1 billion last year, compared to $4.5 billion raised in 2012.

High-profile flameouts like Solyndra, A123 Systems, Konarka, Miasole, Better Place and Fisker Automotive have, appropriately enough, made investors very wary. Billions of dollars of equity has evaporated. Successes, such as Tesla Motors and Nest Labs, have been extremely rare. Continue reading »

By Iftekhar Zaman, Transparency International, Bangladesh

One year ago today, three thousand garment workers started a typical work day at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh.

Like many of the country’s 4m garment workers – over 80 per cent of whom are young women – they earned just over one dollar a day for up to 19 hours of work; went without water or toilets; and crucially were not protected by basic workplace safety standards. They walked up one staircase: the only way in and out of the building. Continue reading »

After a 23 year-old student was brutally raped in New Delhi in December 2012, women’s safety has been at the centre of public debate in India. A year on, the US-based Pew Research Centre conducted a survey and found that nine out of ten Indians feel rape is a “very big problem” in the country. Continue reading »

India is currently enjoying two of its favourite things – cricket and politics.

And on beyondbrics today we look at which of this pair, the popular Indian Premier League tournament and the ongoing general election, have the public more gripped. According to Google, it’s the former. Continue reading »

By Jan Dehn, Ashmore

China is in the midst of a storming change. Interest rate liberalisation is coming as China prepares to let the bond market play an ever-greater role in macroeconomic policy.

The export-led growth model of the past few decades is no longer fit for purpose. As the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, China will be more impacted by the unwinding of global imbalances than any other country.

Quite simply, China is adapting to the world of tomorrow, instead of merely languishing in yesterday’s land of denial. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* China data damp market mood | Bourses open higher echoing a buoyant session in the US, but pare gains after HSBC ‘flash’ PMI suggests China factory activity still stalling

* Russian bank launches post-Crimea bond | The bond issue could indicate a thawing in Russia’s debt capital markets, largely put on hold as global political discord over Ukraine escalates Continue reading »